“Bang!” The thud of something crashing to the floor startled me out of my evening sleepiness as I walked to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of water.
I checked my room for anything that might have broken. Everything appeared to be in tact.
I opened my closet door to see if my suitcase might have fallen down from its precarious perch on my over-stuffed shelves. Nope, still there.
Checking off the boxes of possible problems in my room, I moved on to checking on the status of my roommate’s room. Katie was out-of-town, so there was no need to knock, but I still opened the door quietly and slowly, just enough to peek my head in.
Immediately, the intense heat emanating from her room struck me. The space smelled strongly of burning plastic, and I quickly realized she’d left her space heater on before leaving town. I rushed over to the power strip and unplugged the cord, wanting to ensure the thing was truly turned off. I didn’t trust myself enough just to press “off.” While I recognized that our house probably wasn’t in immediate danger, I still felt a huge burden lifted as I dropped the now powerless cord.
The stifling heat pressed in on me. So, I walked over to the window to let the cool, foggy breeze in. As I rounded the corner of Katie’s bed to draw open the window, I noticed the books and mug on the floor – clearly the culprits that had originally caught my attention.
I shuddered as I thought about what could have happened had the falling books not alerted me to the quickly building heat inside. Then, pushing the darker thoughts aside, I said a prayer of thanks. Thank God no one was hurt. Thank God those books fell. Thank God the noise was loud enough to draw me into Katie’s room.
That’s just how it is in life, isn’t it? Sometimes things have to fall apart or come crashing down to help us discover what really needs our attention. At least, that’s what I’ve realized in recent years. My anxiety attacks revealed the fearful nature that needed to be addressed. My fainting spells pointed to the hyper-controlled eating that was leaving me without enough energy to sustain me. I didn’t enjoy those events – I doubt anxiety attacks or passing out are anyone’s cup of tea. But I’m grateful they happened because they forced me to take a closer look at my mind and heart and uncover dark, messy places that God wanted to address.
He’s still working on me in many areas. But, gratefully, it doesn’t always take a loud, crashing noise to catch my attention these days. Sometimes all it takes is a still, small voice.